How To Manually Install Or Update a WordPress Theme
System 1: Using a File Manager
Step 1: Visit the Public HTML Directory
Visit your site’s cPanel or use an FTP program (e.g. Filezilla) to explore your site’s root directory. Then go to public_html/wp-content/themes.
Step 2: Find the Target Theme Folder
Say, the name of the theme you want to update is “vocal”. In this case, you should see a folder named “vocal” in the themes folder. In order to upload the new version, you must leave the old version of the target theme. Simply rename the target theme’s folder. According to our example, we need to rename the folder from “vocal” to “vocal-old”.
Also enter into the ‘vocal-old’ folder, open the style CSS file and edit the Theme Name field as “vocal-old”.
Step 3: Upload and Extract the Latest Theme Package
Once you’ve renamed your target theme folder, you are ready to upload its latest package to your site. Upload it (a zipped folder) to the themes folder (public_html/wp-content/themes) from your computer and extract it. Now visit your site’s Dashboard > Appearance > Themes. Since you’ve renamed the older version as “vocal-old”, the theme selection board will now show two themes with different names.
You can easily recognize and activate the latest theme from there. The old theme’s name will be shown as “vocal-old” while the latest one will be named as just “vocal”. After setting up everything, you may download the old theme folder (as a backup) and then delete it from server.
System 2: Using the WordPress Dashboard
Step 1: Delete the Old Version
Visit your site’s dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes. Hover mouse on the target theme, click Theme Details link. Now delete the old version of the target theme.
Step 2: Upload the New Version
After deleting the old version of the target theme, upload the newer package from your computer. The system will unpack and install the package. Now you can activate the latest theme on your site.
Warning: Updating or upgrading a theme will reset the customization you’ve made in the previous version. You need to use a child theme to retain those customization. Advanced themes often come with some dependency plugins. Install and update those dependencies separately (if necessary). Hopefully, I’ll discuss child themes and manual plugin updates in upcoming posts. Hope you will be with us.